I can think of at least three different ways in which one can read the scriptures. One might comb through them searching for proof texts. Here the unit of analysis is the verse, regardless of context or even grammar and punctuation. One simply is looking for a bit of citable language to support your point. The antithesis of this would be careful exegesis. The goal here is to painstakingly milk the text for all of the meaning that one can find in it. One looks at context, structure, external sources, and anything else that will let you give a holistic and coherent construction of the text.
And then there is reading where you simply let the language of the scriptures wash over you. A while ago I did an intensive personal study of the Epistle to the Hebrews, particularly the chapters dealing with priesthood and temple. It was a wonderful experience. More recently, I was reading the psalms and I found myself trying to do exegesis. I didnâ€™t like it. There was something deadening about the labor of analysis. So I stopped, and began again at the beginning and simply enjoyed the language. â€œBlessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of the sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and nightâ€¦â€?
To proof text is make the scriptures into a reflection of ourselves. Exegesis is a matter of letting the scriptures speak for themselves, in so far as we are able. To read the psalms simply for the language, however, is to learn how to feel in a certain relationship to God.